So, you’re a minor and you want to go on a birth control.
First of all, congratulations! You are making a healthy and responsible choice for your body and it’s something to be proud of!
If a part of this process for you is to approach your parents with the news, we completely understand how difficult bringing up the topic with them can be. There are a multitude of reasons to go on birth control, but it is usually immediately assumed to be only sex-related, which can set a very specific tone for the conversation.
We understand that all parents are different. Some people are comfortable talking to their parents about sex, while others are not, for many reasons.
So here are some ways to talk to your parents about starting birth control whether or not you’re comfortable talking to you parents about sex.
If you’re a minor and don’t feel comfortable talking about sex with your parents –
First, make sure that you feel comfortable talking about sex with your friends and more importantly your partner(s). If you can’t talk about sex with them, you may not be ready to have sex, but in the end this is a decision you get to make for yourself. Your body, your choice. If you’ve made the decision that birth control is right for you, here are a few ways to talk to you parents about it without involving sex.
Birth control pills are often used to reduce acne, reduce period pain and heaviness, control ovarian cysts, and can even be used for some mood disorders. Approach the conversation by citing one of these reasons. Birth control is far less damaging to the body than Acutane (an acne medication), but is still very effective at reducing acne. It is also completely reasonable to want to control your period’s timing and heaviness as well as significantly reducing cramping.
If citing these reasons doesn’t work, your doctor is your best friend. At your next physical, check in about your period pain or acne and ask if birth control pills would be right for you. Better yet, if you trust your doctor, ask if they’ll recommend birth control pills for non-sex reasons so that you can have safe sex without upsetting your family.
If you’re a minor and do feel comfortable talking about sex with your parents –
The other way to go is to use this as a way to begin talking to your parent about sex. There comes a time in many parent-child relationships when the parent realizes that their child is in fact a sexual being. Start the conversation by saying that you love your body and you love your life the way it is and you would really like to avoid pregnancy as that will change your life forever. Tell your parent that you are planning to be sexually active and you are aware of the effects of teenage pregnancy so it is in both of your best interests for you to go on birth control pills. You may even want to discuss other birth control options such as the arm implant or an IUD.
If you approach this subject with your parents and they respond negatively, the best way to respond is to assert your agency, whether it be out loud to them or as an inner reminder to yourself. Your agency over your own body means that you have the ability to make choices that are in your best interest.
If you choose to continue the conversation with your parents, you can tell them that you are actively trying to protect yourself and your future and although it may not have been timed to their expectations of your sexuality, it is in fact the healthiest and safest choice for you to protect yourself.
Make sure to stay level-headed and factual. Remind them that going on birth control will not change your choices it will just make them safer.
Good luck with your conversations. You’re making the right choice by protecting your body. Plus, if these methods don’t work out for you, there are ways to get birth control without your parents approval and although it’s not ideal, it is possible.